(By Josephine Obute)
Lagos, Oct. 14, 2016 (NAN) The President, National Association of Nigerian Hotels, Mr Lanre Awoseyin, on Friday urged hotel operators to beef up security to ensure safety of their customers.
The president told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Lagos that improved security would also promote the operations of the hotels and enable them to meet international standards.
He said that more tourists and other customers would patronise only hotels that would guarantee their safety and protect them from criminals’ activities.
“The hotels should have close circuit televisions (CTVC), basic equipment required to monitor security with a view to reduce incidents of attack.
“Those hotels that do not have such security apparatus are prone to violence and are used for dirty deals and unhealthy operations,“ he said.
According to him, for hotels to be fully secured, they need to be registered with the government to also check the existence of illegal hotels.
Awoseyin said that there were several hotels that were not recognised by the government, adding that some hotel operators refused to register with the government because they were used for illegal activities.
According to him, those hotels that have refused to register with the government are the ones being used for robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities.
“Most of them are operating in remote areas without signboards in trying to evade tax payment and other necessary requirements in meeting up with the standard,“ he said.
The president of the association, therefore, urged the government to use stringent measures to clamp down on the hotel operators that refused to register their hotels.
“There should be close monitoring of these hotels by the government to ensure that they possess the basic equipment required, so that the insecurity can be checked.
“There are small hotels that are used by these criminals that have not been registered with the government; these ones should be monitored closely on daily basis,’’ he said.
Awoseyin suggested that that there should be a hotline to be given out by the government to customers to report incidences of crime or attack.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has appealed to hotel and hospitality groups in the state to register with the state or face sanction.
According to its Head, Public Affairs Unit, Mr Ganiyu, Lawal, defaulting hotels would be sanctioned before the end of 2016.
He said that it was the ministry`s efforts to upgrade the standard of hotels and hospitality groups to international standard to attract more tourists.
Lawal said that though there had been an increase in the number of registered hotels and hospitality groups in the state, as against the 450 recorded in May, yet the unregistered hotels outweighed the registered ones.
“We still have some miles away to cover with the current number of unregistered hotels, but we shall continue to impress it on their operators to comply before the year runs out,’’ he said. (NAN)